Accessories on Parade


JoAnne Lenart-Weary, the ever talented and encouraging designer that trained me, has a pet peeve.  She calls it Accessories on Parade. Fitting don’t you think?  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of adding all of our favorite accessories together until they look like they are standing single file in line to get on HGTV.   I don’t think JoAnne has anything against a good parade but parades are meant to be in the streets not on our mantles and tabletops.


Look around and see if you’ve got an unintended parade happening somewhere in your space.  Edit out all but a couple of things that work the best together.  Aim for having three accessories, tops on any surface.  I admit, this is really hard for me I have a little thing for accessories.   Remember that the more you add in, the less attention each piece gets.  That usually helps me take a few things away.

I knew I wanted something red, aqua and black and white for the mantle so I just played around until it looked right.  I’ll find good homes for the cast offs, no worries.

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  1. Amen. Love the parade analogy. ROFL! It’s like Chanel said (wait is that a person or just a brand… maybe it was Donatella Versace…), before you leave the house remove one accessory. I think in these terms when decorating, too.

  2. I fall into that trap when I’m in a hurry. I won’t have to worry about that for long, though, as my youngest is beginning to crawl/walk. That means all of my little do-dads will have to parade off to nice, safe drawers!

    Do you have any tips about scale…whether it’s regarding tabletop accessories or how to fill that pesky blank wall?

  3. oh boy am I a sucker for that one…Always a good rule of thumb, only groupings of 3-5….. never more than that!~ Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Thanks for the tip but I can’t do it……i wish i could

  5. LOVE that analogy! I’ll remember it forever more. I’m putting this one in my Today’s Hot Find. Thanks. :)


  6. Get in line people, do you want to be on HGTV or what?! I will forever remember this when I am re-arranging/decorating.

  7. Girl, thanks for the reminder about this !! After Christmas, when the decorations come down, leaving our house looking as though we just moved in, I get accessory happy and start putting things everywhere (I’m just so excited to redecorate – crazy, I know). You’ll have to check out our fireplace transformation sometime … hope I did a good job of balancing, not parading, the accessories on our new mantle !! Take care, Becca @ Adventures in Decorating

  8. this is sooo true ! you have such sound concepts offered up in such a friendly, non judgemental way … I am going to link back to this one and spread the news :) best le

  9. Just found your blog through Twitter (thanks Twitter!).
    I LOVE this post because…well, it’s a pet peeve of mine too. I would like to ask your permission to use it as a “Guest Blog” post (with all appropriate credits) on our site in the new category “Our Life by Design”. See example:
    Let me know if it’s ok! Thanks ~

  10. I am very familiar with that term. I too was trained by JoAnne! I knew I liked you! :)

  11. The same rule applies to the garden. Planting your Daffodils in a narrow row next to the sidewalk looks like “little soldiers” standing at attention. I much prefer staggering and grouping in the home and the garden.

    Items that are all in a row don’t seem to have any “movement” or life. Your eye dosen’t “rest” and take in what you are seeing.

  12. GUILTY!


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